Mod'Amont, the French trimmings and fasteners fair, seems to grow in size and stature from session to session. Indeed, so important has this event become to the trades it services that despite the tensions of the international situation there were no exhibitor cancellations at the autumn 200l show.

This time around visitor levels still exceeded l7,000 - with the drop in numbers from the spring show largely accounted for by absent American and Japanese buyers.

Moreover, according to Mod'Amont's organisers, the overall reduction was due to companies reducing the size of the teams they sent rather than visitors avoiding the show altogether. So, in the long term, order levels are unlikely to be affected by the political crisis outside the exhibition halls.

On the plus side, the fair attracted greater numbers from the field of footwear, amply fulfilling its aim of filling the gap left by the demise of the Le Bourget based PMF (Preselection Mode Fournitures), which was primarily a footwear and leathergoods event.

"The 'brown is beautiful' message of Premiere Vision was echoed across all areas of the trimmings trade at Mod'Amont"

One of Mod'Amont's great strengths is that it runs simultaneously with Premiere Vision. And although organised independently, it is now customary for the two shows to speak with one voice on fashion matters.

This season, for instance, the 'brown is beautiful' message of Premiere Vision was echoed across all areas of the trimmings trade at Mod'Amont. This means that metallic accessories are now coming up with copper or bronze finishes rather than the more usual gild, silver or chrome. And these tones are repeated in ribbons, sequins, braids, fringing and laces.

Similarly the 'aged' and 'distressed' effects favoured in the latest denim and simulation leather fabrics at PV are echoed in leather trims with scuffed and pseudo cracked surfaces.

Herringbone weaves
The return of tweed has similarly created an interest in herringbone weave braids and webbing. Even the fabric edges of zip fasteners are being produced in these patterns.

Trimmings of all types from the Spanish house of Comertex sport printed patterns simulating Donegal tweed or herringbone weaves. Comertex is also targeting the footwear trade with a range of proofed fabrics in brilliant colour, stripe designs or with inbuilt glitter effects. Moreover it stresses that glitter is no longer only for eveningwear items but can equally be the companion to traditional tweed daywear.

Swarovski forecasts that jewel-like trims for ladies' daywear garments are spreading into the men's wear scene. Its display garment range included crystal beaded classic sweaters for men. Swarovski sees this as the logical follow-on to the recent interest in metallic ink motifs on budget price T-shirts for both sexes.

Mo So Ca SpA

Shoe surprises
At Mod'Amont, Swarovski was also doing excellent business with its range of miniature crystal bead fringing sold by the metre. This product is now being sold extensively into the shoe trade, where it is most often used as a collar-like edging around the vamp of a court shoe or to decorate high-heeled mules.

Footwear components will instantly create a more decorative look. At AAZ Accessories there were ready-made leather straps studded with tiny 'rubies' for use in the construction of thong sandals. And from Italy, Modimex Accessori offered a range of 'glass' heels which come in clear amber, mock tortoiseshell, bottle green, or ruby tones. They are, of course, made from sturdy, non-shatter plastic and come in a variety of heights and forms.

"Swarovski forecasts that jewel-like trims for ladies' daywear garments are spreading into the men's wear scene"

Gilded or colourful, relief motifs which can be applied by thermal heat to any leather or leather-like surface were a talking point of the latest trimmings range from Mediac Stephanoise. This company, which is probably better known as a supplier of iron-on motifs to the children's wear and casual wear trades, showed these relief embellishments as trims for the sides of short ankle boots made from patent leather.

Most trims on boots, however, take the form of back buckles, borrowing the look of typical 'biker' motorcycle footwear with chunky but quick release clasps down the back of the leg from knee to ankle.

In thigh high fashion boots the more likely decoration is a cuff sited clasp which follows the same lines as those of a buckle used on an elastic belt.

Tissage J Jurine range

Below the belt
The wide elastic belt that tightly cinches the waist returns to the scene as a complete accessory and in component form at Tissage J Jurine. Clip together clasps for 50s revival elastic belts were also seen as important new components within the metal fasteners range offered by Bodo Jagoberg.

Meanwhile, the Tissage J Jurine range of elasticated ribbons with colourful printed designs is being sold into the children's wear trade. "Children's wear designers are using them as decorative braces, belts and waist bands for permanent attachment to garments," says Tissage J Jurine. It adds that this could be a fashion craze that will later be picked up and used in adult clothing by the more avant-garde streetwear manufacturers.

Printed ribbons were a constantly recurring theme in trimmings ranges seen at Mod'Amont. Designs included spatters of brightly coloured paint at Mo So Ca SpA, clever simulations of python snakeskin at Framis, and a whole range of woven, as well as printed ribbons, which resemble Burberry house check designs.

"Printed ribbons were a constantly recurring theme in trimmings ranges"
However, in sharp contrast to the generally rather masculine character of the new season's trimmings, a number of producers are now showing diaphanous ruffed and twisted ribbons, mostly made of nylon, but occasionally of real silk.

Ruffle trims of this type were a strong fashion story at Nastrificio de Bernardi, which introduced zips with glitter encrusted fabric edges designed as much as decorative trims as functional fasteners.

Buttoned up
Also in demand to lend a more feminine touch to delicate fabric garments were tiny mother-of-pearl buttons of the type the Victorians used on gloves or expensive babywear. Such buttons are expected to march in neat phalanxes down the front or back of blouses and summer dresses during the next summer season.

In buttons generally there's a move back to the use of natural materials. All specialists in natural horn buttons and toggles reported doing bumper business in Paris.

Mo So Ca SpA

And despite the added cost, real mother-of-pearl is fighting back against plastic imitations in all sectors of the fashion market. But it is often mother of pearl with a difference.

Typical of this trend is the German Knopf und Knopf group which uses a strongly iridescent, chocolate coloured Tahiti shell for its range of classic four hole buttons. The manufacturer says it believes these will sell equally well into the men's wear and the women's fashion markets.

Knopf und Knopf also introduced buttons made from coconut shells, which are offered either plain or with burnt-in pattern motifs simulating "primitive tribal symbols."

French manufacturer Boutons Kocher SA also favours what looks like poker work motifs to embellish its range of wooden buttons Mod'Amont isn't just about fashion innovation. The event nearly always turns up some technical advances and this was no exception.

Barta, for instance, has been working closely with swimwear manufacturer Speedo to create printed company logos and lettering which will withstand the regular impact of salt or heavily chlorinated water without disintegration.

In a similar vein, DGE Conseil now offers two-way stretch labels with a rubberised texture - again specially produced for the swimwear trade.

By Sonia Roberts.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

The 2000-2005 World Outlook for Footwear

The 2000 World Forecasts of Clothing Accessories of Textile Fabrics Export Supplies

The 2000 World Market Forecasts for Imported Leather Apparel and Clothing Accessories